John has been slated by Celebrity Big Brother viewers for his 'homophobic' comments in Saturday night's show.
The 54-year-old former footballer suggested to the housemates that he'd be less likely to hang out with Andrew Brady if he and Courtney Act got together.
Courtney - aka Shane Jenek - later took John to task over his comments, where John put his thoughts down to the "way I was brought up."
The conversation caused anger online, with one posting "John Barnes sayin @itsandrewbrady would be “out of the club” and that he would not meet up with him after the show if something happened with @courtneyact is a disgrace.
Hi, there has been a lot of discussion about the conversation between John and Shane J yesterday. Friends and family of John have had a chat about it and written down their opinions, Any thoughts? @radiotimes @huffpostuk @dailymirror @paulsinha @indiawilloughby @dailymailuk #CBB pic.twitter.com/yVxTmbnKvu
— John Barnes (@officialbarnesy) January 21, 2018
"It’s idiots like him that make young men scared to come out #Cbb #cbbuk"
John's friends and family have now responded to the upset with a lengthy statement on twitter.
They posted: "Hi, there has been a lot of discussion about the conversation between John and Shane J yesterday.
"Friends and family of John have had a chat about it and written down their opinions, Any thoughts?"
In a three-page response, they wrote: "As John's friends and family we felt strongly that an alternative narrative regarding the discussion between John and Shane J aired on Saturday night should be presented.
"The motivation for this is that the way the conversation was presented on the show, the subsequent media coverage and the social media backlash have been highly distressing as the popular interpretation is completely out of keeping with our experience of John.
"We have written this statement as our own interpretation of the events and acknowledge that we may be wrong but encourage those interested to consider these points before making their minds up."
You can read the the full statement in the tweet above.
John is currently one of four housemates up for eviction this week.
Celebrity Big Brother 2018 airs nightly on Channel 5.
One housemate will get the boot tonight at 9PM.